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Garage Door Spring Life Expectancy

RichBeckman's picture

We've made an offer on a house and in thinking about who to hire to inspect, I was looking over the certification websites.

The NACHI web site has a video on inspecting a garage. So I watched it (well, it ran on my screen and I saw some of it...)

Near the end (about the 27 1/2 minute mark or so), the man states that newer garage springs have a life of about 4 years and older springs a life of about 20 years.

FOUR years??!!??

This can't possibly be right, can it?

Edit: Here is the link to the video:

http://www.nachi.tv/episode72


Edited 8/25/2009 9:31 pm by RichBeckman

(post #87584, reply #1 of 30)

New ones are probably from China.

(post #87584, reply #2 of 30)

Have a total of 12 springs on various doors, have only replaced 3 in 35 years, some are on 'newer' garages, but would guess the life is over 20 years for those springs made in the 1970s. 

(post #87584, reply #3 of 30)

Rick,


 The ones on the door on my attached garage lasted about 20 years until I replaced the door. The ones on the replacement door are still going strong. It is a 16x7 ft door and gets opened at least 4 times daily. The springs on the 16x7 door on my attached garage are almost 30 years old. They only get used a couple of times a week. The only thing I do is to hit them with a good shot of spray lubricant at least once a year.


Bill Koustenis


Advanced Automotive Machine


Waldorf Md

Bill Koustenis Advanced Automotive Machine Waldorf Md

(post #87584, reply #4 of 30)

Can't say, since (until I recently had my door upgraded) I haven't replaced a spring in about 20 years.

There may be a difference between (usually older) extension springs and (often newer) torsion springs in regard to lifetime, but I don't know why it would be as extreme as 5 to 1.


As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place. --Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #87584, reply #5 of 30)

BTW, before the door was upgraded (same door, converted from extension to torsion), I had a couple of springs break in the first 10 years or so, but the other two (of four total) lasted over 30 years. (They were looking pretty sorry towards the end -- all stretched out.)


As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place. --Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #87584, reply #6 of 30)

I've had old spring break and part of it was stuck pretty deep into the wood door.


The new ones have a safety part inside them that keeps it all together when they brake.


"There are three kinds of men: The one that learns by reading, the few who learn by observation and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves."
Will Rogers
______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ There are three kinds of men: The one that learns by reading, the few who learn by observation and the rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. Will Rogers

(post #87584, reply #7 of 30)

Yeah, extension springs should have a safety cable threaded through them, to contain them in case of a break. The cables are easy to retrofit to existing setups.

(Torsion springs don't need a safety cable.)


As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place. --Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #87584, reply #8 of 30)

I wonder if the older doors were heavier and thus the springs were "thicker", heavier gauge.

TFB (Bill)
TFB (Bill)

(post #87584, reply #9 of 30)

Or maybe the new springs are cheaper.


As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place. --Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #87584, reply #10 of 30)

well, at least the torsion springs, come in a number of different sizes to match the weight of the door.

BTW, I am not buying the 4 years. But no personal experience.

.
William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe
. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe

(post #87584, reply #11 of 30)

Well, extension springs come in different sizes too.


As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place. --Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #87584, reply #12 of 30)

One of the torsion springs on my garage door broke a couple winters ago.  I called the garage door company (yeah, I could have fixed it myself but it was 20 below zero that day so I paid someone else to do it) and I asked the repair guy how long they typically last.  He said a rule of thumb was 10,000 cycles, which actually worked out pretty close to the actual age of the springs on my door.

(post #87584, reply #13 of 30)

The one on my parents garage door is 45 years old and counting.

(post #87584, reply #14 of 30)

Wow,


What a long video. What he actually said, from my listening was "forty" not "four" for the life of modern springs. Since I got my new door with torsion springs a few years ago, and I'm 61, I'm not worrying about them at this time.


BarMil


Edited 8/26/2009 7:57 pm ET by BARMIL

(post #87584, reply #15 of 30)

Just before I posted this, I thought "I'll bet he said forty and not four and I'm gonna look stupid" (yes, yes, I know).

So I went back and listened to that part of the video a couple of times to be sure.

I think he says four very clearly.

(post #87584, reply #16 of 30)

Sounds like it was a sales film. 

Matt

(post #87584, reply #17 of 30)

I just went back again and listened three times. It still sounds like "four" to me.

(post #87584, reply #18 of 30)

I found a web site that supports Stuart's proposal that 10,000 cycles is about right for torsion spring longevity on a garage door. I find that somewhat disturbing, since I probably average three cycles per day, which equates to something less than ten years. Since my previous linear springs lasted about twenty years and cost about $20 each to replace (by me), I'm thinking I might have the wrong system. I have a very light door, insulated aluminum Overhead Door, that I can raise and lower even without springs. Would this door have less stress on the torsion springs, or is door weight not a factor?

(post #87584, reply #20 of 30)

Yes, your light weight door would put less stress on the spring because the installer would not have to tension it nearly as much to balance the weight of the door.

BruceT
BruceT

(post #87584, reply #28 of 30)

The lighter weight door should be balanced with softer springs. If you just back off the tension on a stiffer spring the door won't balance right.


As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place. --Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #87584, reply #29 of 30)

I never thought of that. It has to unwind enough turns for the door to roll up, doesn't it?

BruceT
BruceT

(post #87584, reply #30 of 30)

Too stiff a spring and the door will only be stable halfway up. Too soft a spring and the will only be stable all the way down and all the way up, with it being too "heavy" in-between.


As I stood before the gates I realized that I never want to be as certain about anything as were the people who built this place. --Rabbi Sheila Peltz, on her visit to Auschwitz


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #87584, reply #19 of 30)

i went throught this a couple of years ago.  i broke one spring, and called a door service.  i was told that i should have both springs replaced, "if one broke, the other one isn't to far behind" he told me.  i thought, the door is only 4 years old.  a spring has to last longer then that, maybe it was a bad spring.  about 6 months later the other one broke.  i called the door service again to come fix the other spring.  when the guy showed up i learned two things.  first i had under sized springs on the door, they were only 1 3/4" springs.  much small then the 2 1/2" standard size.  second, springs are only good for about 10,000 cycles.  about 4 years depending on use of the door.  i had him install two 2 1/2" springs, it's been about 3 years and so far so good.

 

 

PANIC CHAOS DISORDER.........my work is done here.

(post #87584, reply #22 of 30)

I have wayne dalton doors on both of my homes, a total of six doors and they have a fairly unique spring system. It is a plastic torsion spring enclosed in a tube. Gets tensioned with a cordless drill. I have heard stories about these springs being junk, and not lasting but I have 12 years of service on four of the doors and 3 years on the others.

Simple to tension, nice neat appearance and have been very reliable. I haven't see a downside yet.

I also really like their I-drive openers that mount directly above the door and operate by rotating the torsion tube. I had several people warn me about them but I think they work fine as long as the install instructions are followed to a tee. I can see how they could easily give issues if not set up properly.

I have had two i drives installed for 3+ years and they have bee rock solid reliable and they are quieter than any other opener I have seen.

(post #87584, reply #23 of 30)

Dalton stopped selling those i drives through the big box because too many diyers couldn't install them properly and then complained about non-performance.

There are not many things for the home that are so difficult to install that the big box store does not carry them.

(post #87584, reply #24 of 30)

Chamberlain also makes a direct shaft drive opener.

But they only sell it through their Liftmaster pro brand.

For their chain and belt drive they sell both Chamberlain in the DIY market and Liftmaster in the pro brand. The main difference between the two is that the pro brand comes with a 2 piece rail. And usually have an upgraded wall control panel. But all of the basic parts are the same.

.
William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe
. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe

(post #87584, reply #25 of 30)

The i-drive itself really isn't much to install, but if the door isn't right, you are going to have problems. I love the clean installation though.

Not surprised the pulled it for that reason. I can see the average person having issues with it.


Edited 8/28/2009 6:33 pm ET by TomW

(post #87584, reply #21 of 30)

Spring broke at my mother's house.

It was about 25 years old

Someone said there is maintenance you can do to extend the life of the spring

Maintenance apparently involves oiling or lubricating the spring

(post #87584, reply #26 of 30)

NACHI is really good at marketing, getting "certified" by them is absurdly easy.

Stick with ASHI, IMO





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(post #87584, reply #27 of 30)

We went with the NACHI guy,but not because of that. Other contacts.